Danieli Automation to Supply Sunflag Iron and Steel

Sunflag Iron and Steel Co. (part of Sunflag Group) selected Danieli India Ltd. to supply the drives and process automation for a new, 320,000-tpy SBQ bar mill in Bhandara, Maharashtra, India.

There, the Sunflag Group has set up a state-of-the-art integrated plant to produce high-quality, special steel rolled products (mild and alloy steel grades), starting from liquid pig iron and sponge iron.

The new bar rolling mill will be placed after the existing blooming mill, previously installed by Danieli Morgårdshammar, in order to produce steel bars in diameters ranging from 45 to 120 mm.

The supply includes new Level 1 automation, instrumentation, AC main drives, regenerative DC common bus technology, auxiliary drives, main stand and shear LV motors, and motor control centers for the bar mill.

Sunflag I&S chose Danieli Automation both for its consolidated know-how in rolling mill process control and for its proven capability to deliver complete automation systems in a very short time.

Source: Danieli

Primetals Technologies to supply staves for blast furnace of China Steel Corporation

  • Staves to be installed at CSC´s blast furnace 2
  • Will extend plant´s lifetime by a further 18 years
  • Five out of six blast furnaces of CSC will operate with equipment from Primetals Technologies

China Steel Machinery Company (CSMC), a subsidiary of Taiwanese steel producer China Steel Corporation (CSC) has placed an order with Primetals Technologies to supply staves for CSC´s blast furnace 2 at the company´s Kaohsiung plant. The new staves are part of the third rebuild of blast furnace 2. The aim is to extend the furnace´s lifetime by a further 18 years. In future, five out of six blast furnaces operated by CSC and their subsidiary Dragon Steel will operate with equipment from Primetals Technologies. Final delivery is expected for end of June 2020.

Blast furnace 2 has a hearth diameter of 12 meters and an inner volume of approximately 3,300 cubic meters. Average production is 6,900 metric tons per day. The third rebuild of blast furnace 2 includes a complete shell and cooling system replacement. The cooling system will be a combination of copper and cast-iron staves from hearth to upper stack. Primetals Technologies was contracted to supply 9 rows of cast-iron staves. The installation of the new staves is scheduled to take place during a planned shutdown period in 2020. Blow-in of the rebuilt furnace is expected for early 2021.

CSC is the leading steel producer in Taiwan with an annual production of around 10 million metric tons per year. Around two thirds of the production is for the domestic Taiwanese market, the rest is exported. CSC produces a range of products including plates, bars, wire rods, hot and cold rolled coils, electrogalvanized coils, electrical steel coils, hot-dip galvanized coils, and Ti/Ni-base alloy. The CSC plant in Kaohsiung includes two BOF shops with a total of seven 2-strand slab casters and three 4-strand bloom casters. The slab casters mainly produce carbon and low alloy steels. In addition to supplying BF equipment, Primetals Technologies recently upgraded a continuous slab caster at CSC´s Kaohsiung plant.

Source: Primetals Technologies

European Steel Prices Recover as Import Threat Slows

European buyers of strip mill products slowly started to partially accept the proposed mill price hikes, in mid/late December 2019. The conclusion of a prolonged destocking phase led to an improvement in apparent demand. Moreover, the production cuts, carried out by domestic steelmakers, in the latter part of 2019, started to tighten availability and extend delivery lead times. Third country suppliers began to lift their prices, due to increased raw material costs. Currently, import quotations are at a premium of around €30 per tonne to domestic offers, leaving European buyers with fewer alternative sources of supply.

The steel market, in the early part of January 2020, was slow, as companies returned from the extended Christmas/New Year celebrations. Any upturn in economic activity is predicted to be modest, in the medium term. Buyers are wary, fearing that, unless real demand improves significantly, the price increases are unsustainable. Nevertheless, the producers continue to talk prices upwards.

The German market remained quiet, in early January. Mills declare that they have good order books. The capacity reductions carried out in the latter half of 2019, had a positive effect on strip mill product prices. No significant import activity was noted. Domestic steelmakers are pushing for further increases in late first quarter/early second quarter.

French strip mill product prices began to move up in mid/late December 2019. Activity picked up ahead of the Christmas vacation. Mills’ order books improved. As a result, delivery lead times extended. EU producers are now looking to implement further price rises of €20/40 per tonne. Mill sales in January started quite slowly. The downstream market is more active and distributors expect business to remain satisfactory. However, demand from several sectors is likely to decline, compared with last year. Import quotations, which have risen significantly, are no longer competitive.

Italian strip mill product figures reached the bottom, for this cycle, at the end of November 2019. They moved up a little at the start of December. During the last two weeks of the year, a partial revival of demand was noted, due to restocking activity. Prices continued to climb. Buyers realised that the steelmakers were determined to boost basis values in order to offset their rising raw material expenditure. The mills also benefitted from reduced third country import disruption, as most global suppliers lifted their quotations. Delivery lead times are extending because of earlier production cuts, plus mill stoppages/outages during the Christmas vacation period. Suppliers propose further price hikes. Service centres continue to struggle to make acceptable profit margins. The economic outlook is poor.

UK manufacturing output continued to deteriorate, in December. Nevertheless, a number of steel distributors were busy in the run-up to Christmas. Order intake, since the holiday, is reasonable. Negative sentiment has dissipated since the general election. Strip mill product suppliers are increasing prices. Several deals were concluded, in late December, at basis values around £30 per tonne higher than during previous settlements. Further hikes are being proposed but buyers question whether these are sustainable, unless demand improves substantially. Customers are reluctant to place large forward orders.

A number of positive price developments took place in the Belgian market, during mid/late December. Mills, globally, took advantage of rising input costs to advance their steel prices. In Belgium, steel buyers, finally acknowledged the need to pay more, albeit, less than steelmakers proposed. This enabled purchasing activity to continue. However, buyers question the assertion that real demand has changed significantly. Further price hikes uncertain in the current market conditions.

Spanish demand for strip mill products is, currently, stable. Basis values recovered, in January. The upward price momentum started in mid-December and has been maintained, on the return from the local holidays. Destocking was underway, in early December. Now, companies need to re-order. Producers are demanding increased prices for March deliveries and even increased prices for April. However, cheap material, from third country sources, booked in October/November, is starting to arrive. This could act as a buffer against further domestic price hikes.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review – January 2020

Increased Raw Material Costs Boost Steel Prices in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, prices for strip mill products began to rise, in January, as in most other Western European countries. Raw material costs are climbing, and the steel market sentiment has been improved by expectations of an upturn in the automotive sector, during 2020. Replenishment of hot rolled coil inventory is evident, in the country. Ex-mill selling figures are increasing, while competitive offers, from decoilers, persist. Sales volumes of hot rolled plate are fair and regional producers are said to be “talking up” the market, but MEPS has no confirmation of raised prices, in the month.

Cold rolled coil sales tonnages, overall, are satisfactory, although demand from several major coil-using industries, such as automotive, agricultural equipment, and windmills, is poor. Imports remain uncompetitive, due to low prices available in the local market. Sales to the automotive sector are expected to pick up, this year, thereby improving demand for coated sheet and coil.

Elsewhere, as usual, the markets of the Nordic countries are slow to respond to a change in pricing trends. Transaction values in Denmark followed the upturn in neighbouring countries to the south. Sheet and coil prices were unchanged, in Finland, but those in Sweden and Norway recorded modest decreases.

Long product prices, in the Netherlands, are stronger than those for flat products – influenced by the wider, European market. Wire rod selling figures, stabilised, in January. Increased mill input expenditure and tight supply pushed selling figures for medium sections and beams upward. Sales to the local building sector, however, are disappointing. The reinforcing bar market also remains subdued, equally affected by the Dutch government’s environmental regulations. In other regional markets, however, rebar mills secured a moderate price lift, on the back of increased scrap costs. Selling values for merchant bars were subject to added upward pressure influenced by rising mill input costs, throughout the region. Ex-mill prices, for all long products, are expected to rise, given the recent recovery in scrap costs.

Source: MEPS European Steel Review Supplement – January 2020

Special Steel Producers Prefer Danieli Peeling Machines

A new-concept peeling machine for large diameters ordered by Baosteel

Following the excellent operational results achieved by the peeling machine for special steel bars in operation at Baoshan plant since February 2019, Baosteel confirmed its preference for Danieli downstream finishing processes and ordered a new peeling machine to be installed also at Baoshan plant in March 2020.

Featuring a new design to fulfill the “fully automatic without changing tools position” concept, the new machine will peel large-diameter bars up to 200 mm.

This original, technical solution reduces production time up to 15% and performs both cylindric and conical shape bar peeling.

The machine is very compact and its stiffness guarantees ISO h8 tolerance continuous production.

The above performances have been confirmed during the full testing at Danieli workshops before shipping.

The total supply time from order to startup requested by Baosteel is 12 months.

Source: Danieli